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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 3445..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

However, two weeks later, it was revealed that a letter from the president of the Labor Club Group stated:

... if the ATO formed the view that the Canberra Labor Club Limited was in fact under the control of some other body such as the ALP then the ATO may issue an amended tax assessment ...

Minister, have you taken advice from the Gambling and Racing Commission regarding who actually owns the Canberra Labor Club Group, and if not, why not?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I have not taken advice from the Gambling and Racing Commission on who owns the Labor Club Group. I have been advised by the Gambling and Racing Commission, though, today that they have received my letter of 17 August and, in accordance with their powers of investigation under part 4 of the Gambling and Racing Control Act, the commission will conduct an investigation into matters relating to the proposed sale and its compliance with requirements of the act. I will be reporting back to the Assembly when I receive their report.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, is the Chief Minister correct in his claim that the Labor Party owns the Canberra Labor Club Group?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure under what portfolio—

Mr Corbell: It is asking for an opinion from the minister, Mr Speaker, and it is not within the minister's power to make the determination. As the minister just said, the Gambling and Racing Commission is investigating that matter. It would not be appropriate for the minister to pre-empt that investigation in any course.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, the point of order is upheld.

Gaming—sale of Labor clubs

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to the ministerial code of conduct, which says:

Ministers ... are to ensure that their conduct, whether in a personal or official capacity, does not ... damage public confidence in the system of government.

Chief Minister, you were quoted in the Canberra Times on 30 July this year discussing the proposed sale of the Labor Club Group and the apparently untenable position of their board to refuse to stop the sale. Yesterday you refused to answer questions on the basis that they were not in relation to actions taken in an official capacity. Given the terms of the ministerial code of conduct, why is it satisfactory to answer the questions of the media about this deal but refuse to answer the questions of this Assembly?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I did answer the question. I answered quite explicitly and I will repeat it. At no stage have I breached the ministerial code of conduct and at


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